Transvision '98

Arjen Kamphuis (
Tue, 09 Jun 1998 01:44:46 +0100

Dear fellow (trans)human(ist)s,

A short and very personal report on some of the things that happened at
Transvision '98. More details and pictures will soon be availabe on the
Transcedo website with links to related sites,
documents and pictures.

--- Weesp (The Netherlands). 5-06-1998, 18:00 hrs CET. ---
After a week of testing beta-code abroad I arrived somewhat late at our
hotel in Weesp, near Amsterdam. I recognized Anders from a picture I once
saw, lot's of other people that I must have talked with many times but had
never seen. I don't think I'll quickly get used to 'knowing' people without
having seen them ;-). I was immediatly having trouble connecting names to
faces (were are those remembrance agents!).

After passing out the T-shirts to everybody (Gareth Smith - Alcor UK - was
very happy with his shirt displaying Beavis & Butthead waist-deep in ice
saying 'cryonics is cool') we all went next-door for dinner. All trough the
three-courses (good thing they had these multi-lingual menu-cards) there
was lively conversation about all things transhuman. Swapped SF-stories
with Gareth and discussed state-of-the-art computer technology with Holger
and Klaus (?). After dinner we took a short walk across the typical Dutch
town of Weesp (canals, cute houses, fortress and al that), conversation
never let up. A bunch of us found a pub were some Dutch and Belgian special
beers could be tasted, a perfect place to have a discussion about
media-attention and how to use it effectively.

The next morning most transhumanists seemed to be up & functioning again.
One of the other hotelguests asked us whether we were a religious cult or
something (might have been the T-shirts). Berrie and I explained that we
were studing the future, the elderly lady agreed that this was 'most
important'. Didn't ask her E-mail, darn!

Berrie Staring opened Transvision '98 officially and gave a presentation
about how Transcedo came about, what we wanted to achieve and our ideas
about global- and European cooperation between transhumanist organisations.
Then Nick Bstrom started of his presentation about the WTA
( with a rather 'cultish' visualisation
exercise. "Now all close your eyes and think about how good you felt during
the greatest moment of your life, now imagine a future that can be much
better than this and that lasts forever...". Quite a compelling image.
After this warm-up Nick talked about why he had founded the World
Transhumanist Association, it's structure and relation to Transhumanist
organisations everywhere. Nick's presentation ended in discussion and...
Lunch! Bread and Dutch hot-meatsnacks known as 'kroketten'. Since the
thunderstorm seemed to be taking an lunch-break also we went outside for
some photo-opportunities by the canal.

Anders Sandberg talked & gestured about 'How to lead a transhuman life'.
All the things one can do _now_ with an emphasis on our motivational
system. This presentation can best be described by Anders himself and he
will do so at some time in the future on his website So be patient ;-)

In spite of the very interesting speech Anders had given my sleep-shortage
was feeling quite serious by now wich was bad since I was next in line as a
speaker. A caffeine-injection got me going again and I played my role as
devil's advocate trying to explain why I wasn't thinking about a
cryo-contract. Using mountainclimbing as an example of pushing your limits
'till it kills you. Gareth Smith was looking physically affected after a
while and since dead-bodies at a Transhumanst convention would make bad
press a decided to call it quits and put forth my two other 'points for
- How to make new technology's acceptable?
Taking IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) as an example I proposed that finding a
economical application was the shortest route. In the case of IVF that did
the trick in about 10 years. Not everybody agreed and that was precisely my
- More jokes! We need more humor in our communication of Transhuman memes.
The T-shirts with Beavis&Butthead 'cryonics is cool' are a big hit. If we
are talking to people about heavy subject like (the prevention of)death and
immortality and such it would be good to 'lighten up' things every now and
then with a joke.

After this Berrie was wrapping-up the afternoon when I felt 'that sinking
feeling' one has when suffering _severe_ sleep deprivation. So I took the
only real medicine: A long night of sleep. Regrettably this meant I missed
the second dinner and many, undoubtedly facinating & fun discussions.
Whilst my unconsious body was recouperating from the last week several
participants visited Amsterdam or closerby night-life.

The next morning several people felt the consequences of cerebral
de-hydration caused by the consumption of serious amounts of alcohol (this
is to say, they had a hangover ;-). A bit later than planned Gareth Smith
got started on his presentation about cryonics. After some introductory
cryobiology he talked about how he made the desicion to sign up, and gave
some practical examples of the problems one encounters when setting-up
basic cryo-facility.
"You can win the lottery that gives immortality but it does require that
you buy a lotteryticket". A cryo-contract as a small investment for a shot
at immortality. There was much discussion about the practical
implementation of a European cryo-network. Probably the various
organisations wil share resources to make cryonics feasible in Europe
(training&education, installations and equipement). Holland, with it's
liberal laws on euthanasia could possibly be a very good place to have
suspensions under controlled circumstances. We will be looking into legal
loopholes that can be exloited, where neccesary.

During the follwing wrap-up some points were agreed on:

- There will be a Transhumanist gathering on the 4th through 6th of june 1999
in Stockholm, Sweden, hosted by Aleph.
- German, French and Belgium sites & Transhumanist groups will be brought into
existance and the other European oranisations wil assist them.
- Multi-lingual press-kits will become availiable on the various website's
- We will cooperate on processes and procedures relevant to dealing with
- We will actively recruit new members trough the web and by other means
- Improved introductionary texts to Transhumanism will be created
- We will actively seek more structured funding
- Special Interest Groups for certain projects (such as a documentary on
transhumanism fo a general audience and a memetics group) will be created.

In spite of some minor tehnical difficulties the first European
transhumanist gathering was a great succes. We had a number great
discussions, informal talks and most important: a lot of fun! I feel
confident that all participents feel strengthened and that these gatherings
will become regular milestones on the road of growing transhumanism in Europe.

On a more personal note, I'd like to thank everyone who helped organizing
this event, the speakers and everyone who made it great by attending and
particiating. Thank to you all!

Kind regards to all and looking forward to future meetings. European
transhumanism is on the move!

Arjen Kamphuis
Transcedo, WTA

Disclaimer: This account is entirely personal and not endorsed by
Transcedo, WTA, Aleph, the Dutch governement, EU, UN, NSA, CIA, DIA or any
other A-that's-out-to-get-you.

Arjen Kamphuis | To exist is to change, to change is to mature, | to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

Transcedo, the Dutch Transhumanist site: